Ransomware attack hits more than 20 Texas local governments

Texas Pummeled by Coordinated Ransomware Attack

In May, about 10,000 computers belonging to Baltimore's city government were infected with RobbinHood ransomware, in an attack that is expected to cost the city millions of dollars.

A "coordinated" ransomware attack hit 23 towns across Texas late last week, according to the state's Department of Information Resources. But a statement from the department does report that "the majority of these entities were smaller local governments,". The department believes, however, that the attacks came from a "single threat actor".

"He said", The attack in Texas was similar to other ransomware attacks that have crippled digital operations in cities around the country in recent years.' "Once it's activated, your computer system is effectively locked from use until you pay that ransom as requested", he said.

The attack seems to have been coordinated, it was added. Although investigations into the origin of the ransomware attack are ongoing, the DIR said response and recovery are the priority at this time.

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Officials have not identified which agencies were booted offline by the attack, but they did say state of Texas systems were not affected and that most of the affected agencies belong to "smaller local governments".

The DIR is being assisted by numerous federal and state agencies in the investigation, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI's cyber division, and the Texas Department of Public Safety's Computer Information Technology and Electronic Crimes (CITEC) unit.

While the attackers tend to be anonymous and their locations undisclosed, Liska said his research has found that few are based in the U.S. Many, he said, are breaching local government computer systems from operations based in parts of Eastern Europe or Russian Federation. Other than several cities of Florida, other United States cities were also targeted earlier. The county refused to pay the ransom and instead plans to spend at least $253,000 to rebuild databases lost in the attack.

DIR would not tell Gizmodo which agencies were affected in the attack. The incident reportedly made it impossible for community members to pay city bills online.

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